Report: Tsarnaev family received $100,000 in welfare benefits

A drop in the bucket. Given Judy Clarke’s fee in the Susan Smith case, $100K probably isn’t much more than what you’ll wind up paying Dzhokhar’s lawyers to help him avoid the death penalty. And if they succeed, you’ll be paying for his upkeep for years and years and years after that.

So poisonous are the politics of this that even local Democrats are vowing a full investigation. I thought the preferred “solution” here would be a variation of their response to Gosnell, i.e. what we need is more welfare/clinics so that impoverished people aren’t led down the wrong path.

The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012, the Herald has learned.

“The breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning,” said a person with knowledge of documents handed over to a legislative committee today…

“I can assure members of the public that this committee will actively review every single piece of information we can find because clearly the public has a substantial right to know what benefits, if any, this family or individuals accused of some horrific crimes were receiving,” said state Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick), the committee’s chairman.

The Tsarnaevs are an interesting mix of mundane social pathologies associated with being poor and bigger ideological pathologies that most poor people never harbor. Allegedly, both mama and papa Tsarnaev were shoplifters. Dzhokhar dealt drugs for spending money, some of which may or may not have been put towards bomb manufacture. Tamerlan received welfare up until 2012, the same year he took off to do God knows what in Russia and long after he and mom supposedly had that phone call in 2011 about “jihad.” Instapundit linked this interesting Mickey Kaus piece from 2001 about a terrorism/welfare connection in Europe in which ethnic antagonism causes resentment among immigrants and welfare gives them free time to explore ideology, but I don’t know how much that applies to the Tsarnaevs. Dzhokhar, at least, seemed reasonably well integrated at school; “ethnic antagonism” from the public generally was probably less of a factor for them than for European Muslims because they’re white, although the anecdote in the update here suggests there may be more to it than meets the eye. And further muddying the waters of causation is the apparent fact that Tamerlan was simply a bad seed, especially towards women. What happens when you throw a radical, domineering personality into an already bad mix?

Anyway, we know now how grateful the boys were for America’s helping hand, and mama Tsarnaev’s made her feelings pretty clear. How about dad and the sisters?

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